Abuja – Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) personnel on Tuesday arrested two persons suspected to be using a cell- phone to commit malpractice during the on-going Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Patrick Uba,, the Commandant of NSCDC in FCT, announced the arrests to newsmen when he monitored the examinations in Abuja.
Uba said that the suspects were apprehended at Baptist Academy Centre, in Karu where one of the suspects, called Joy, went into the examination centre with a cell phone, which was among the banned items.
“She concealed the cell phone in her panties, went into the hall undetected and while the exam was going on, she brought it out to use.
“With the CCTV cameras in the hall, live activities are being transmitted and members of JAMB personnel and security on ground were able to detect what she was doing and arrested her.
“At the point of interrogation, she mentioned one Andrew, her accomplice, whom she said introduced her to the act and was sending her supposed answers to the questions, via the phone.
“They are both in our custody, we would carry out further investigation and arrest other accomplices if traced and they would be prosecuted in the court of law.”
Joy told newsmen that her act was an accident, adding that she was caught before she could use the phone.
“Other candidates were also making use of other materials too, I wasn’t the only one, but I did not report them, “she said.
Joy, who said she wanted to study Business Administration in the university, added that she had written the examinations more than five times without success.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had banned candidates from bringing wrist watches, recorders, calculators, microphones, glasses, cell phones, Bluetooth devices, among others, to the examination centres.
The board had reiterated that it would not relent in its efforts to tackle malpractice by keeping pace with technological changes and candidates’ behaviour.
Reacting to the incident, JAMB’s Head of Media, Mr Fabian Benjamin, said that the candidate was initially spotted from the surveillance camera at the JAMB headquarters in Bwari.
Benjamin noted that all centres conducting the examinations had surveillance cameras, used to monitor every activity in the examination halls.
“When we saw what was happening at Baptist Academy, we immediately dispatched a team to make the arrest.
“This should serve as a deterrent to others; there is no short cut to success, whatever you do at the centre, you would be spotted, it is not business as usual.”
Benjamin also explained that the supposed answers sent to the phone of the suspect were answers to questions from 1990 and not from the 2018 tests.
He decried the length that candidates could go to be deceived and led to failure instead of reading hard to pass the examination.
He said that the board would continue to work with security personnel on ground to stop all illegal acts during the exercise.
“We are doing this because we want Nigerians to know once we get it right, we would have gotten it right in every sector of our economy.
“We will not allow anybody to destroy what we are doing.”
Speaking on the conduct of the examinations so far, Benjamin said the board had been able to tackle challenges of candidates with urgency and added that the exercise had been smooth.
He said that more than 800, 000 candidates had written the examinations so far.
“By the end of today, we would have over one million candidates who have successfully written the examination,” he said.
The UTME commenced on March 9 to end on March 19. (NAN)